alexa Abstract | The Patient Liaison Officer in UK General Practice Co-ordinating Care for Housebound Patients

Quality in Primary Care
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Research Article Open Access


Background: Workforce redesign is needed in general practice to recognise the health and social needs of an ageing population with complex co-morbidities. Developing new roles for existing receptionists is presented as one way to support clinicians in administration of complex care, reducing unplanned hospital admissions for housebound patients.

Aim: To implement a patient liaison officer role in primary care through development of receptionist skills to support housebound patients in the community

Design: A longitudinal retrospective cohort study, following 64 housebound patient over 2 years, before and after introducing a patent liaison officer. Setting: South London general practice with 7200 registered patients

Method: Audit of unplanned hospital admissions; Accident and Emergency (A&E) and Urgent Care Centre (UCC) attendance by house bound cohort, 12 months before and after introduction of a patient liaison officer, using computerised clinical records and hospital discharge reports to identify contacts

Results: Unplanned hospital admissions reduced by 50%, without concurrent increase in separate A&E and UCC attendance.

Conclusion: Early indicators suggest a non-clinical liaison role within general practice, improving communication and care-coordination between patients, carers and external agencies, can support housebound patients resulting in reduced unplanned hospital admissions and potentially reduced health inequality.

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Author(s): Jacqueline A Tavabie


Patient liaison, general practice, care coordination, Advanced concepts in primary care, Quality in Primary Care, Comprehensive primary care, Innovative primary care

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